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A Snowboard Crash and a Life Lesson

I had the opportunity in February to go back to Colorado. A group of friends and I take a trip to the mountains every President’s Day weekend. We hang out, go hiking, and go snowboarding and skiing. The mountains are my favorite place. There is something about looking up at something or standing on something that is so vast. The mountains help me put the rest of my life into perspective. It is the place where I feel the most refreshed and at peace. I never really understood why until this last trip. Here’s what I learned.

I have been snowboarding for about eight years. Learning snowboarding as an adult was difficult. I started small and took lessons. I am very grateful I was able to pick it up relatively quickly. In my first few years of going, I took lots and lots of bad spills and was sore for several days in a row. My heart wanted to continue learning, but my body and brain reminded me that falling hurts and you probably won’t survive a fall off of that cliff. The last few years I’ve been more confident in my skill level and can just enjoy the routes. I now know how to carve really well, so my muscles don’t get quite as sore or tired. I also don’t take as many tough falls. That can probably be attributed to not getting sloppy when I am tired.

My second day of going snowboarding this year I was struggling. I was fine getting down the mountain, but getting on and off the lift or just standing there, proved more difficult than I remembered. One time I face planted and another time I fell flat on my back. I couldn’t figure out why I was falling because of the most ridiculous reasons. Then I realized…it’s because I wasn’t paying attention. The moments I crash or fall happen because I lost my focus. I stopped paying attention to my surroundings, to my body, and to my instincts of what to do next. No focus = flat on my face. This is why I think that I experience such peace and rest in the mountains even after a few days of extreme exertion. When my mind is focused on just one thing (getting down this mountain without breaking any bones), there wasn’t room to think about anything else. I didn’t think about work. I didn’t think about what I would be coming home to when the trip was over. I didn’t think about the car troubles that I was having (PS…damaged brakes in the mountains…not ideal). I didn’t think about the anxiety that I get from time to time. I was present in that moment.

As amazing as this realization is personally, I did end up thinking about work and life in general, too. I often times get stressed out and forget things when I have so much on my plate. I have to make lists and sometimes get distracted by the many tasks at hand. What if I focused on just the one thing that needs done in this moment? I am sure I would be happier, healthier, better at my job, a better friend and roommate, a better daughter and sister. I would be present.

Don’t get me wrong, planning and preparing is important. I am a firm believer in setting goals, accountability, planning my days and weeks, and setting schedules in advance for dinner and hanging out with friends. Those are all good things. I am simply saying when it’s time to be in that moment, be in the moment. My challenge to myself for the rest of the day and tomorrow (hopefully the rest of my life, but let’s start small) is to be present. Be thankful for the moments I get. Don’t get too caught up in the stress and the multiple unchecked items on my list, but be grateful that I have a job, I have a life, and I have a list of to do’s to get done. My life is full. I challenge you to do the same. What can you be present in today?

Chelsea Liska
Chelsea has been with Aureus Group since September 2011, and currently is an Account Manager for the Iowa market. Chelsea works with clients to discuss their staffing needs and assist in finding them the perfect candidate to join their team. She loves when she is able to use her skills to help someone and give them an amazing experience in their candidate and career search. Every day Chelsea gets to be a part of a company that is building into her so that she can build into others. When she isn’t working, she is active in her church. Chelsea loves being active and playing volleyball, golf, softball, snowboarding, working out, and hanging out with her friends and family. Binge watching her favorite shows is definitely a notable skill! She is personally and professionally committed to being an “Energy Ambassador!”

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